This January Burlington Country Library kicks off a nationwide initiative to encourge kids to read.
In an effort to promote strong early literacy skills, the Burlington County Library System is encouraging parents and caregivers to read 1,000 books to their newborns, infants and toddlers before they head off to school. Dubbed “1,000 Books Before Kindergarten,” this new program will kick off in January with special celebrations at the Burlington County Library in Westampton and all seven library branches.
A nationwide initiative, the program’s concept is simple. Parents and caregivers are encouraged to pick up lots of books to read, or reread, to their little ones. The goals are to promote reading readiness for kids entering kindergarten, instill a lifelong love of reading and encourage parent and child bonding.
The new BCLS program will help parents and young readers keep track of their progress through Beanstack, the library system’s online reading tracker. Participants can register through their Beanstack accounts at www.bcls.lib.nj.us/beanstack or sign up at their local branches. For every reading milestone reached, a child will earn an online badge. Then, they are invited to stop by the library for recognition of their achievement. Parents and caregivers who don’t have access to internet can also keep track of their child’s reading progress using paper logs available at all library branches.
After a child has read all 1,000 books, he or she will receive a certificate of achievement from the library.
Burlington County Library System Director Ranjna Das notes the 1,000-books-before-kindergarten goal may sound more ambitious than it actually is.
“If you read a child just one book a night, that’s 365 books in a year, 730 books in two years, and 1,095 books in three years,” Das said. “Considering most children start kindergarten around the age of 5, parents probably have more time than they realize to help their little ones begin to build strong literacy skills.”
BCLS staff will celebrate the launch of the new 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program in January with kick-off parties featuring stories, crafts, games, appearances by Elephant and Piggie, and more at all library branches.
BCLS 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Launch Parties
(All Events Begin at 10:30 a.m.)
Burlington County Library (Westampton) — Monday, Jan. 15
Pinelands Library (Medford) — Thursday, Jan. 18